Galapagos boat type

small yacht - positives
sailing boat - negatives


When a small yacht
makes sense


You want to focus on diving (dive boats are never large).


Your priority is snorkeling, not land wildlife viewing. Although most Galapagos ships and yachts provide frequent snorkeling opportunities (and sometimes the snorkeling gear), some small yachts focus most of their time on snorkeling.

Other advantages

Small boats create more of a sense of adventure. They can enter shallower waters. They usually (but not always) have fewer people in a shore excursion group. Their onboard activities are less regimented.


Most small yachts are considerably cheaper than cruise ships. If you can only afford their fares, go ahead and book one of those boats despite the disadvantages. It's better to experience the marvelous Galapagos Islands than never at all.

Sailing boats are
not quite as romantic
as they may seem


They are narrow beamed by design. These means they rock easily. And cabins and public spaces (including outdoor decks) are small and cramped.


The Galapagos Islands are not sail friendly because it's normally not windy enough. Sails are used more for show than sailing - and sometimes they are unfurled only on the first day as you leave port. The propeller does the real work.

Click for critiques

Small yacht issues
Small yacht issues (cont)
Luxury ship positives

Best 5 islands

Best Galapagos ships by category
Boat type - pros & cons
Itinerary tips
Cost and booking tips

Best time to go
Getting there tips
Packing tips
Snorkeling tips
Diving tips
Some more helpful tips

Top 5 land & shore wildlife
Top 5 birds
Top 5 marine life

Charles Darwin - Brief bio
Interesting Galapagos facts
Celebrity Xpedition



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